Wordnik word of the day: palaver

Today’s word of the day is palaver, meaning “idle chatter” or “talk intended to charm or beguile.” It’s also a verb. It comes from the Portuguese palavra (though perhaps its Spanish cognate is more familiar to modern Angolophones: palabra), meaning “talk, speech, word.” The word seems to have been picked up by English sailors and travelers on the west coast of Africa, where Portuguese was the chief language spoken with Europeans.

One thought on “Wordnik word of the day: palaver

  1. Hi Erin,
    In the UK, palaver is usually used to refer to a great fuss or to-do; a bit of a carry-on. Interesting that it apparently has another, rather different meaning in N. Am.! :)

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